One Stop Shopping as a regime: a crowdsourced analysis of integrated environmental approval policy

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Australasian Journal of Environmental Management


© 2018, © 2018 Environment Institute of Australia and New Zealand Inc. Project developers face stringent environmental assessments and project approvals at multiple tiers of government. In order to streamline approvals, the Australian government is executing its strategic One Stop Shop (OSS) policy to integrate environmental approvals at the state–territory tier of government. This study crowdsourced diverse public opinion to develop an understanding of the required regulatory changes, and problems and pitfalls, associated with the OSS policy. Regime theory was used to frame the research and show that robust and repeatable approvals processing, convergent regulations and laws, open access to environmental data, and a single national list of threatened species may pave the way for improved approvals. In addition, OSS approvals assurance will be a critical factor if the policy prescription is to succeed. Stakeholders also expressed heightened concerns over weakened federal environmental approvals oversight and standards enforcement, increased approval uncertainty and limited efficiency improvements. The study commended closer federal and state–territory collaboration and co-operation, use of third-party facilitation of approvals processing and an enhanced guidance for community engagement and social impact analyses as aids for policy implementation.

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